AU 2007 – The Training Trinity

imageMine included, it seems that many of the AU Unplugged sessions had a lighter turn out than expected.  Even with the limited attendance, I must say my session provided a great platform for some discussion I am certainly bringing home with me.  The concept of a Training Trinity is one I have not seen much (if anything published on).

About a month ago I made a post centered on “Starting a CAD Standard“.  I’ll paraphrase for those of you who may not have read that post.  My “Starting a CAD Standard” post focused on the idea that the most important element to a CAD Standard is not the awesome DWT you have set up, it’s not the documentation (directly), not even the automated routine you may have programmed.  Instead what makes of breaks a CAD Standard is the unspoken (and undocumented element).  When starting a CAD Standard one must have a clear and concise goal, a mission statement even. 

Different elements of your CAD Standard shouldn’t be established as islands.  I can assure constructing bridges between your islands is not an option.  Instead each element of your CAD Standard must compliment the other elements of your CAD Standard.  While I have always aired on the side of defining procedures outside of the CAD Standard, your standard will certainly imply numerous procedures.  For instance if your file management standard is set up to have model files and sheet files, you are implying a workflow in which sheets are generated by xrefing model drawings. 

So what does all of this have to do with training?

AU 2007 – Day 1

DSC_7735 I actually arrived in Vegas yesterday (Monday).  Thankfully most of the post Thanksgiving travelers had passed, but Monday was still a pretty busy day to travel.  Naturally the rain throughout the eastern US didn’t help matters.  All things considered I presume my 1:30 delay in New York wasn’t all that bad.

I had planned to make an AutoCAD Civil 3D Power User Bootcamp, scheduled for Monday.  Unfortunately my flight delays resulted in me missing that session.  No less I was able to fill my Monday afternoon meeting numerous individuals, getting checked in, and the like.  Monday evening played host to what ended up being a rather informal meet and greet for My Feedback Users.  Autodesk’s My Feedback Program serves as the stage for its Beta testing program.  Anyone is welcome to submit an application to join the My Feedback Program.

This morning of course marked the official opening to Autodesk University 2007.  The opening, or General Session as they call it was a rather impressive display of what the future of Autodesk products look like.  Since there are more than 10,000 of us AU’ers here this year, the session was held in the round with everyone looking to the center of the venue.  Surrounding the entire room was more than 20 projection screens which served as the medium for one of the most immersive demos I have ever seen.  Using some yet-to-be-released technology, a full 3D model of Washington DC was displayed on the screens surrounding the audience.  Despite announcing it during the General Session, I am sorry to say Lynn Allen lied to us, does not exist.  **Update**  Lynn didn’t lie to us, the URL is actually, and simply forwards to her blog. Perhaps Autodesk will launch the Lynn Allen introduction site in the same spirit as

With Autodesk University officially open for business, classes begun immediately after the General Session.  Apparently the first session I registered for, Demystifying Label Styles Within AutoCAD Civil 3D, was incredibly popular.  By the time I got up the escalator, and to the classroom, the session was already at capacity. Disappointed, I went on a quest to find another open session, but was unsuccessful.  Thankfully that was the only real glitch to my day.  My other sessions went off extremely well.  In fact a special thanks to J.C. Davis, Nick Harper, and Craig Parkinson for their presentation, DEA Path to AutoCAD Cvil 3D 2007 Migration.  Later in the day Icaught Scott McEachron of D|C|CADD Dallas’ presentation, Essentials of Roadways – Corridor Design.  Both presentations were packed with lots of useful information.

Inserting DWG’s into MS Word or PowerPoint

image Just this evening I received an e-mail from Autodesk letting me know my AU Unplugged session "The Training Trinity: Fundamentals of a Successful Training Program" was accepted.  Thank you to everyone who voted for my session.  If you’re attending AU, be sure to check out the AU Unplugged Schedule.  There you will find the full list of, and information on each of the AU Unplugged sessions.  I do look forward to meeting some of you guys!

Throughout the years, I have seen both high and low-tech ways of inserting AutoCAD DWG’s into Microsoft Office documents.  I believe the most low tech way I have seen included printing each the MS Word file, and the AutoCAD DWG, then using Scotch Tape to insert the DWG onto the printed document.  Run it through a photocopier, and no one will ever know (unless you were a messy Scotch Taper).  But what do you say we jump into the 21st century?

Staying in the 21st century, AutoCAD does actually provide us with a fair number of options for inserting AutoCAD DWG’s into MS Office documents.  Although a Ctrl + C (Copy) and Ctrl + V (Paste) will work, it will insert your AutoCAD DWG just as it looks in AutoCAD – including the black background.  My guess is you would rather have it look similar to the way your DWG plots?

AU Unplugged and More

We’re sitting at a month out from AU 2007.  Being anniversary years for both Autodesk as a company and AU as a conference, it’s sure to be a great event.  I wrote about a month ago about something new Autodesk is trying this year at AU called AU Unplugged.  Per an e-mail I got just